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Archive for the ‘The Critter We Love’ Category

postheadericon Shelter Dogs, Kongs, Peanut Butter and Stupid People

We have a wonderful animal shelter here in our community. For many years it was not like that..I would drive by it quickly because of the horror stories I had heard about the place. Over the years the staff and many volunteers have worked hard to over come the bad reputation that haunted them from the past.

On a typical day the shelter will have about 100 dogs…. Plus about 75 cats. A very generous donor bought Kongs enough for EACH of the dogs at the shelter.. as well as enough peanut butter to stuff in them with jars left over for more stuffing.

If you can picture this…. there were about 100 Kongs in several different sizes….. as well as a whole lot of volunteers on hand to stuff them with peanut butter… the place was hopping with out of the ordinary activity…. The Kongs were all finally stuffed so let the treats begin… What a fun thing to do and not only that but it was being live streamed on Facebook…..

Ok Ok Ok..maybe it is just me…BUT… I have spent some time at the shelter… I know that it is a noisy place. There are all sorts of pups there.. big ones, little ones, shy ones, you name it.. at any given time your able to find a very wide range of dogs…..

I had to shut off the live stream of these dogs getting these wonderful treats…. The dogs were loving it. The volunteers were getting such a good feeling out of doing something so nice for these pups…. I had to shut it off because of the IDIOTS people posting STUPID STUPID comments while it was streaming live.

Stupid as in…  So these dogs are in these small cages because you are giving them treats?
You have these dogs in these cages while their play area is being cleaned?
Why do you have so many dogs?
Is someone coming to take this dog home?

The STUPID comments were endless…. These people must have no clue what a dog shelter is. All I could think of was these are the same people that think dogs and cats are disposable….Just drop them at the shelter and someone will adopt them… they will have food, water companionship and a place to play. There will be other dogs there to keep them company.

I just wanted to scream at the stupidity at some of the comments that were being posted. Many were RUDE.. Many people were commenting on the stupid comments.. it was awful….The next morning the Video had been taken down…..

What started out to show off a wonderful gesture of kindness turned ugly…..
Please Adopt… Don’t Shop!.. and get them Spayed and Neutered…

 

 

 

 

postheadericon Another pet food recall

Another pet food recall this morning…. Over the past couple of weeks the number of recalls has been unreal… Not only dog food but cat food and rabbit pellets.

The brands that have recalled their product because it may contain the drug Pentobarbital are especially troubling to me…. I kept thinking what in the world would that drug be doing in a plant that makes food for dogs and cats…. WHY WOULD IT BE THERE?…. All I could think of was some crazy employee seeking revenge…. After reading more about it.. I no longer think that is the case.

No one likes to talk about or think about where the food that we buy in cans to feed our four legged friends come from but I think it might be time to have a grown up conversation about it.

Now I will admit I do not in any way suggest I know the answers but that Pentobarbital came from some where….. If not a disgruntled employee, it must be coming form what the food is being made of.

If a pet food contains “animal byproduct meal” that could be any animal that is not a bird and it might be in that food … Including animals that had been euthanized… and Pentobarbital is a barbituate that is commonly used for euthanasia….. So that is probably the way it is getting into the food that is making our pets sick.

A couple of years ago I was in our local farmers co-op picking up some sunflower seeds and the gal from the dog rescue where I got one of my dogs from was in buying dog food. We got to chatting about how my adopted dog was working out and about dog food. She asked what I was feeding her and I told her I feed all my dogs lamb and rice.. both dry as well as canned. She asked, “but what kind”. I told her I always buy Purina. Well she about had heart failure that I was such a terrible person to feed my pups such a horrible brand….. The very next week.. the food that she was buying was recalled. Go Figure.

I have been hearing much about feeding those 4 legged fur balls a raw food diet… and with all of the recalls lately I have been paying closer attention. I have found a book that pretty much explains what you need to know about switching your dog to a homemade raw food diet…. It is especially good for those who are fence sitters…..You can read more about it here…. Learn How to Add Years to Your Dog’s Life by Thomas Sandberg. For the last 15 years Sandberg has followed a group of dogs (80) fed a diet of raw homemade food. The results are amazing.

Sandberg is on a mission to help dogs live longer healthier lives

postheadericon How Much Should Your Brush Your Dog’s Coat?

Dog-Hair-BrushingSharda Baker has a wonderful eBook about Dog Grooming. Taking your dog to the groomers can get to be expensive. Learning to groom your own dog in the comfort of your own home will not only save you a lot of money over the years but it can be such a wonderful bonding experience for both you and your dog. Grooming your own dog really isn’t that hard if you have a bit of guidance.

Below you will find a copy of the news letter from Shandra about Brushing your Dog’s coat.
You can find out more about her Dog Grooming Secrets by <<CLICKING HERE>>

Before addressing how to brush your dog and sorting out the problem of matting, it is necessary to figure out exactly how often you should brush your dog and when you should do so.

It should be a part of your dog grooming and should have always the right dog grooming tool which is the brush for dogs.

There are so many rumors and myths around grooming practices that it really does get confusing from time to time about what you are supposed to be doing with your dog and this especially applies to brushing.

Some say that you should only brush your dog once a week or so but in actual fact you can brush them as often as you like. Brushing does not strip anything from the skin at all.

In fact, it helps it to evenly redistribute the natural oils produced to keep your dog’s coat in top condition. Regular brushing also prevents tangles and matting, removing dirt and making the rest of the grooming process a whole lot easier. Furthermore, it can help to boost your dog’s blood circulation and that can only be a good thing.

There are so many benefits of brushing your dog that it is hard to keep up with all of them but it is easy to figure out how often you should brush your dog with a little help. For example, a dog that is used to grooming and has a smooth coat may only need brushing once a week.

However, a long coated dog that is prone to tangles should be brushed at least once every other day. Again, it is all dependent on the coat type in terms of the minimum brushing requirements but if you want to brush more often then that is completely your decision.

When you are trying to get your dog used to brushing then it should be a part of a daily routine. It is first necessary to introduce your dog to the brush by showing it and then rewarding your dog for not attacking it. This should occur regularly over the course of a couple of days.

After that, you should brush your dog daily, especially if you have a puppy. The sooner your dog gets used to it and accepts it as an essential part of the daily routine, the sooner he or she will begin to like it and see it as time spent petting and fussing with you.

It has to be a positive experience but you must be firm with your dog because the longer brushing is left alone, the more likely it is to hurt and come across as a negative experience.

There are some general brushing recommendations when your dog is used to brushing every day and they are as follows:

Short haired dogs – Once a week
Thick or coarse coated dogs – Two to three times a week
Long coated dogs – Once a day or every other day
Shedding dogs – Daily to remove loose hair and minimize shedding

There is one incidence in which you should break the above guidelines and brush more than once a day. You should be sure to brush your dog both before and after having a bath. There are many reasons for that but the main one is to save your dog unnecessary pain.

If you remove tangles before the bath then your fingers will not pull them during the bath. Brushing after will remove any that occurred during bathing and improve the condition of the coat.

Groom your dog like a PRO.. with this eBook>>>> Dog Grooming Secrets

postheadericon My Feral Dog Named Joy

DSCN0075 My little beagle, named “Joy” is the closest thing to a feral dog that I will ever have. I chased her around my area for almost 3 weeks in the bitter cold of a January winter in Michigan. It was the winter of 2014 and it was the worse I can ever remember. We had several days in a row of 20 degree… and then we had wind on top of that….. And of course we had lots and lots of SNOW.  Needless to say it was not fit for anyone to be out in that weather…. especially a little beagle that had no idea where she was.. and was to scared to ask for help.

Hubby was the first to spot “Joy”…. She was walking down the road by our house…. a lady was out shoveling her snow so hubby asked her if that was her dog. She told him no and that dog had been around her house for a few days but it wouldn’t come to anyone. It just walks around in huge circles. Several of the neighbors had tried to get it to safety and warmth but that pup would have no part of it.   Hubby told the lady not to worry he would send his wife back to get the dog.

Hubby must think I am a miracle working because that was a task much easier said than done. This little dog wanted no part of me what so ever… I was able to get close enough to see how scared it was and also how cold it was… but that was about it.

I have a community page for my area so I posted about this little dog and asked everyone to please be on the lookout for a little beagle. If you are able to capture it please let me know and I will come and get it. Well that started it all…… This little dogs was spotted by many people from all over the area…. but no one was able to capture it. The weather continued to be cold and the wind continued to howl.. all I could think of was this poor little darling out there by itself. I will admit I thought of little else. My heart was breaking. Every now and then over the next 2 weeks someone would post that the beagle had been spotted and I would go out in search of this little darling. But I was never able to see her.

Then for at least a solid week no one posted anything about the pup that I was so desperate to catch and take care of. I of course was thinking the worse, after all how long could a little dog be out there by itself with no food, no water and no shelter? It was heart breaking to think about.

One morning my neighbor from across the street called…. she asked me if I was still looking for that little beagle… YOU BET I WAS.. I was so happy to hear that the baby I was so worried about had been spotted, I could hardly keep my emotions in check.

The pup was not at the house next door to me but at the house next to that one…. walking in circles around their frozen over pond…… Food and water was put out for this little beagle. They were able to watch the little dogs comings and goings from the inside of their house.. but the moment the door opened this pup was GONE…… We watched from the garage at what this pup was doing and she would walk in circles around the house over and over and over again… each circle getting a bit smaller… then she made a bee line to join their dog in it’s kennel….. grabbing a bit of food and a drink of water before it froze. The little beagle snuggled up to their big dog for a brief moment as if she had done it many times before….. They had no idea the kennel even had a hole in it…. let alone 2 other ways to escape as well.

Can you imagine… I am the one who had been searching for this little darling and she had been spotted by many others all over the area… and she was so close… only 2 doors down from me. No telling how long she had been there… but now that I knew where she was the next challenge was to capture her and take her to safety and warmth.

Over the next 3 days I used lots of cut up chicken pieces as treats.. and I sat outside in that horrible weather. NOTHING was going to allow me to give up on that little beagle that I had thought about so much. And was so close to but yet still so far from…

Finally as if by magic I was able to grab it by it’s collar and I held on with all my might. I put that scared pup in the car where she went absolutely CRAZY… did I care… NO WAY! I was so happy to of won this battle. But of course the next challenge would be to drive home and then to get this terrified pup out of the car and into the house to a waiting crate….. Piece of cake……!

When we got home I took off the collar it had on… the skin/fur on her neck just unfolded. Someone had put the collar on so tight I was surprised she was able to breath. I replaced it with another one that was much better suited for the little darling. She was now at home locked in the crate where it was warm safe and dry… and full dishes of food and water…. And of course my dogs checking out the new addition from the other side of the crate… I left the little beagle alone to relax and hopefully enjoy the food and water and a warm good nights sleep. Something that I was certain it had not had in at least the last 3 weeks since I had been trying to capture it. No telling how long she had been out there before I tried to catch her.

I too slept that night with the most wonderful feeling of accomplishment….. I named her “Joy”.

That has been almost 2 years ago. To this day my little Joy still walks in circles…. We have to walk/run 3 times around the inside of the house before we come to the door to be hooked up to the tether to go outside. No, she is not allowed to run free… I fear she may leave me and never come back… Deep down I really don’t think that to be true but I am not going to take any chances what so ever. NONE! We go for a walk everyday in the late afternoon and we walk/run around the outside of the house 3 times before we are content to come back inside.. To me Joy has whatever is equivalent to a child having ADD.

A couple of weeks ago I left for a few days and Hubby told me that Joy sat in the bedroom and howled for hours.. it was only after he went in and turned on the TV and put pillows under the covers as if it were me lying in bed did the little darling stop howling…. I almost cut my trip short to return home….. When I got back home it was the very first time that Joy came to me. I cried I was so overwhelmed with emotion.

I can’t begin to tell you what  pleasure my “Joy” has brought to me. She is without a doubt the closest thing I will ever have to a feral dog. I have no idea where she came from. I am not sure that she was abused or just unsocialized….. But the tight collar leads me to believe that whom ever had her didn’t have the patience that was needed to see what a beautiful little girl this angel was. As all beagles, my little girl Joy has the sweetest face….Seems hard to believe that someone could of ever been mean or mistreated this sweet little girl.

Even though my little darling is still a challenge… I couldn’t love her more if I tried. When it is time for bed…. she forgets everything about being afraid and simply crawls under the covers and gets as close to me as she possible can….. My Little Girl Joy…. the sweet little beagle that won my heart.

postheadericon Do Dogs Really “SEE” With Their Noses?

I am sure you have seen dogs sniff at things… Some dogs sniff more than others. It is fun to watch how my 4 dogs take in all of the different smells. 3 of my dogs just as so so at sniffing the different things. My precious little Joy is the one that has a wonderful sense of smell and has to SMELL EVERYTHING in sight. When she is out on a walk you can just see her chasing what ever had been in the area before. My Joy is a beagle and many of that bread of gotten themselves into trouble with their great sense of smell.

Here is a wonderful video that I found very interesting… It describes how dogs see with their noses.
I am sure you will find it as interesting as I did.. Enjoy!

 

postheadericon A good use for horse poop!

horse-1075524__180When you live on a farm your bound to have poop from your animals. I am sure many of you know that cow poop or manure makes a wonderful fertilizer…. Collecting and spreading the manure around not only helps with the disposals of it but it seeps back into the ground to add value to the soil. But what about horse poop or manure?

Although there is a wide range of weights among horses depending on the breed, an average adult riding horse weighs approximately 900 – 1,100 pounds. A horse that size produces around 8 to 9 tons; or between 16,000 and 18,000 pounds of manure every year. That’s a lot of horse manure.

What is done with that manure? One option for disposal is to haul it to a landfill site, but that is not an eco-friendly option and some landfills will not accept horse manure. The best option is to spread the horse manure on land so it decomposes quickly, or to compost it and then use it to improve soil quality.

One problem with using horse manure to fertilize ground is that many people use sawdust or wood chips as bedding in horse stalls. When the stalls are cleaned, the dirty sawdust or wood chips as well as the manure are removed. While the horse manure itself is a good fertilizer, the sawdust and wood chips are not crop friendly. That’s because when wood breaks down in the soil a nitrogen deficiency occurs, which stunts the growth of crops. To combat this problem, a nitrogen fertilizer can be added to the soil after horse manure is spread on it; or a nitrogen fertilizer can be added to the horse manure and sawdust or wood shavings mixture before being added to the soil.

A great way to use horse manure is to add it to a compost pile. When adding the manure to a compost pile, any sawdust and wood chips present in the manure are okay. They are a good “brown” component to compost. It takes about six months for the manure, sawdust or wood chips, and any other materials added to the compost pile to completely break down and become what many people call “black gold.”

To make a compost pile with horse manure as one of the components, layer it with green compost items. Many experts suggest alternating layers of brown and green compost items because you need sources of both carbon (brown items) and nitrogen (green items) in your compost pile. Brown items such as horse manure, wood chips, and sawdust are great sources of carbon. A few good sources of nitrogen (the green items) for a compost pile include: green leaves, fresh grass clippings, the scraps from raw fruits and vegetables, and coffee grounds. Yes, coffee grounds are brown, but for the purposes of compost they are considered a green item because they provide the compost pile with nitrogen.

Because the compost pile is a living thing, it needs water and air to thrive. Your compost pile should be turned each week, adding water as needed to keep the compost pile damp. You’ll know the process of breaking down has completed when the compost material is dark and crumbly and fresh smelling.

Once the horse manure and other materials have turned into the “black gold” I mentioned a little earlier in this article, it’s finally time to put the black gold to good use. While compost isn’t officially considered a fertilizer, it contains nutrients that are great for plants and soil. Some good ways to use your horse manure compost are: as mulch for garden plants and around landscaping; as a soil improvement component for sandy soil; as a soil improvement for clay soil; and as a material to help control erosion.

Now you know that horse manure, that smelly waste product from a beloved animal, is a useful by product that is environmentally friendly.

Here is a site about The Business & Biology Of Raising Composting Worms.. I found it a great addition to this post.

postheadericon Does your dog need to be groomed?

Does your dog need to be groomed?… May I suggest that ALL dogs needs to be groomed, some just more than others. Grooming your dog should not be a chore or a task that you dread doing. Spending time grooming your furry friend should be something that you both look forward to.

Grooming is an essential part of owning a dog. Along with regular walks and balanced meals, it is vital to the health and well being of your dog and thus is a process that all owners should be aware of today. No matter what breed of dog you have, your knowledge of grooming or your experience in looking after dogs, it is important to know something about how to groom your dog.

We all have busy lives and would probably like to learn the best ways to quickly groom your dog without wasting time or money.

I have several dogs…. one of my dogs in particular loves to be groomed… if I were to be completely honest…. I am not sure she really likes to be groomed as much as she loves the attention that she gets when she is being groomed. All of my attention is on her and she loves it. Daisy is indeed her mama’s girl.

My Daisy has the most beautiful fur coat. I use a rake on her and also a shedding blade. She loves the shedding blade. Daisy is a Labadoddle…. I don’t have to get her hair cut but many dogs do need to have regular hair cuts. Learning to groom your own dog is really not that hard if you have a bit of guidance.

You can shop for your dog grooming tools in your local area or you can shop online for them where I buy many things for my pets Entirely Pets. They have just about anything your looking for all sorts of pets.. not just dogs. One year for Christmas I bought everyone in my family a Furminator… from Entirely Pets….That really is a marvelous MUST HAVE tool for your dogs and cats as well.

I have found a wonderful guide about dog grooming.

Here’s just a small sample of what you will discover in the Secrets to Easy Dog Grooming.

Discover how to choose the right GROOMING TOOLS that make all the difference!
Learn the right and the wrong way to brush your dog (you might be surprised).
Discover the easy & safe way to brush your dog’s teeth.
Secrets to choosing a genuine professional dog groomer.
Find out the secrets to removing those tear stains below your dog’s eyes and mouth.
Discover how to easily cut and shape your dog’s coat..
How to manage hair MATTING and hair SHEDDING.
Uncover common grooming problems and how to manage them.
Learn the proven tips to cut down on the overall cost of grooming.
Learn how to make the most of your grooming tools.
Discover the 3 BEST ways to ensure a shiny healthy coat.
Learn how to safely & easily clip your dog’s nails.
Finally discover how to eliminate that “DOGGY SMELL” associated with some dog breeds.
Discover the different varieties of SHAMPOOS you can choose from and which one is best for your doggy!
How to effectively empty your dog’s anal glands.
How to quickly manage the aggressive or biting dog while grooming.
Learn what SKIN PROBLEMS may be aggravated during grooming and how to prevent or manage them!
The easy method to plucking your dogs ears with minimal discomfort.
Discover how often to bath your dog without causing dry itchy skin.
TEETH BRUSHING – The easiest way to quickly brush your dog’s teeth.
Discover how to simply TRIM YOUR DOG’S NAILS plus what to do if you accidentally trim too much and they begin to bleed.
How to ensure you feed the correct nutrients for a well balanced diet that will help ensure your dog has a healthy coat and skin.
Learn why you need to have a first aid kit handy when grooming and what it MUST include!

In addition to feeding my dogs diatomaceous earth… I also enjoy keeping them looking great by taking care of their coats with proper grooming. It is a great way to spend one on one time with your furry friend. I can highly recommend both DE and the gre4at dog grooming book I found. The Secrets to Easy Dog Grooming

postheadericon Chicken Keeping

chicks-980803__180More and more people are keeping chickens in their backyards. As long as their is no city ordinance against doing so people are finding that is a fun thing to do. People are keeping chickens in their backyards for many different reasons. Some want a source of fresh eggs.. others may just like to watch them. I find them fascinating!

I for one have always loved the idea of keeping chickens in the backyard. Chickens don’t really require a lot of space though they do need a sheltered area. Keep in mind if you live in an area that is cold in the winter months… you really should plan of providing some type of heat for them when it is cold.

Of course you will want to provide them with plenty of fresh water and good food…you can also add diatomaceous earth (DE) to their feed. Offering your chickens DE in their feed will keep the internal parasites at bay.

Chickens love to take dirt baths. You can see them rolling around in the dirt.. kicking up the dirt with their feet and flapping their wings so that the dirt will get ALL over every inch of their bodies… When they have had enough they will stand up and shake themselves off, and strut away as if they have on a new outfit!

This dusting area would be the perfect spot to add de freely. When the chickens get into take their dust bath the added de will get down on their skin filtering through their feathers. The best part is.. it will stay there, helping to keep them pest free.

Some people like to keep chickens as 4H projects for their children. Some like to have their own fresh egg source, others just like the idea of having chickens walking around their backyard… that would be us. We adopted a couple of girls that were no longer producing eggs.. they were headed to the farmers stew pot but we intercepted and brought them home to live out their lives hunting for bugs and worms in our backyard. They were delightful girls, we got a great deal of pleasure out of watching them.

Rather than just getting a few birds and putting them in your back yard here is a book to make the most of your backyard chickens….. Chicken Keeping Secrets

postheadericon Building a Chicken Coop

If I had my way…. I would have the chickens in the house. BUT…. hubby seems to have a different idea on that subject.  There is just something about chickens that I find fascinating. Doesn’t Keeping Chickens sounds like a fun project…..?

The soft cooing of the hens… scurrying and scratching at the dirt, looking for bugs and worms. I think I could watch them all day. The boys can get a little noisy at times but them most boys can be like that.

You need the proper house for Keeping Chickens… and I would of course recommend having diatomaceous earth on hand to keep them healthy both inside and out.

Before you get your chickens you should decide about housing for them. Building the proper kind of house will be very important not only to you but also to your new brood. But…. Where do you start? What do you need to know about housing chickens. All of those questions and many more will be answered in this book Collection Of Chicken Coop Plans.

Collection Of Chicken Coop Plans offers 10 Chicken Coop Plans. I am sure that you will be able to find one that is just right for your yard and your location.
Each chicken coop design has :
~instructions for building
~list of the materials needed to build the coop
~plans and diagrams for the measurements
Use a coop design ‘As Is’ or just pick and choose the ideas you like from the collection to build your own ‘poultry palace’.

You Can Save $$$ And Get The Coop You Want
It’s true, you can save hundreds of dollars by building your coop – and sometimes build one almost for free if you use reclaimed materials – but this isn’t just about saving money by building your own coop, it is also about building the coop you want to have in your backyard, the way you want it.

Are you ready to build a haven for your hens…..? Go here to check out this wonderful Collection Of Chicken Coop Plans

If you need info about how to raise those chickens here is a wonderful resource I found…. It has lots of other information too… Not just about raising chickens. It talks about Self Sufficiency And Homesteading Products…. Including Keeping Chickens, Guinea Fowl & Other Poultry, Beekeeping (honey Bees), Herbal Remedies, Vegetable Gardening, Hydroponics & Greenhouse
poultry houses

postheadericon How to Apply Diatomaceous Earth to Your Pet

I have found a great short video done by the Green Tip Guy showing how to apply diatomaceous earth to your dog. I thought that you might enjoy watching how easy it really is… This is the exact method that I use…… and he is right my dogs love it TOO!

I buy my Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth from EarthWorksHealth.